Monday, May 30, 2011

Where 24 + 48 = 4 (Quilter's Math)

I just finished my second month as a stitcher in the {Faith} Circle of the do.Good Stitches bee. In April, we made the rainbow blocks (you can read about mine here), and Rachel (of Stitched in Color) has joined them into an INCREDIBLE (and huge!) quilt top. Don't you want one just like it? I know I do!

Anyway, for May, Kelsey asked us to make blocks for a little family in her church. The parents have been very active in the church, and they recently welcomed a set of twin boys into their family. They are preparing to move away, and Kelsey wanted to send them off with a set of matching quilts for the boys. She asked us to make 4 string blocks -- 2 using orange, gray, aqua and white fabrics, and 2 using yellow, gray, aqua and white (love!).  She also asked us to add some textured fabrics, not just quilting cotton. 

I had some orange minkee and orange jumbo ric rac, so I just bought some teensy little aqua pom-poms, and some aqua corduroy. And then I set about making a huge old mess while I tried to make some order out of the chaos! 24 different fabrics +48 seams = 4 blocks. (See? Quilter's Math.)

(I do not like making string blocks! They totally mess with my desire to create order!) (I always love the outcome, the product, not the process!)  :o)

I'm not sure how she's going to quilt over the pompoms, though! :)

Now that the mess on my sewing table is cleaned up, I'm excited to see her finished quilt! :)

And for June? We're making "Lollipop trees" for a little girl being born in August. I'm a little scared, but somehow I know I'll do it. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

One Advantage of Being Slow... that the needle just bends the pin, but doesn't break it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

{WiP} Wednesday #9

Look! It's Wednesday again! And I'm posting again! (I'm such a broken record!)

WIP Wednesday at Fresly Pieced

But I've really had my nose to the grindstone this week trying to get my quilt for Craft Hope/Alabama done. Well, and having a joint birthday party on Saturday (and having to super-clean because my grandma came down!) and guests coming to stay from Sunday till tomorrow.

The birthday girls. Scrumptious!

Nose to the grindstone. I haven't sewn anything else.

Alabama Quilt ~ Blocks in a Pile
The blocks in pile. Not nearly as impressive as I thought they would be.

I had to clean up my crap craft area a bit so I could hang my design wall again. Storage will come one of these days...but I'd rather be sewing than spending the time organizing. What's that? You don't know what I'm talking about? Whatever.

Alabama Quilt ~ Blocks in a Basket

The blocks all rolled up. There was a tiny patch of sun, and I the colors were brilliant
This is 80 blocks, and the back will have some pieces/scraps from the fat quarters I used for the front. I HAVE TO get the top and back done by Friday morning because I've reserved time on the long arm, and that's really the only time I can do it.

Alabama Quilt ~ Held

I'm using the Flowerbeds pattern from the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of McCall's Quilting. BUT, I will warn you...if you do this pattern on your own, you will not need as much of the border/sashing/white fabric as the pattern calls for.  If you follow the pattern exactly, then you're good, but if you're a pattern-deviant like me, then you'll have a lot more than you really need.

Alabama Quilt ~ Blocks on the wall

I wasn't sure if I would dig the colors once I got the blocks together up on the wall, but I still do. They're definitely not my first choice of colors, but I wanted this quilt to be something that a man wouldn't mind having in his home. I mean, really. These people are rebuilding their lives from nothing. From the ground up, so I wanted to have it be a color combination that either a man or woman would be pleased to have decorating their new space.

Hopefully I will get to show you finished pictures next week, as well as other finishes!!

Recap of WiPs:
  1. Robert Kaufman Kona Solids Challenge - unfinished, but I'm stoked about my design!
  2. Kelly's Bee Happy door and window blocks - unfinished, but halfway done.
  3. do.Good Stitches Bee - unfinished, but 5% done. :)
  4. Camera Strap - unstarted, but I need to move this up on the must-do list!
  5. Jen's Purse - unstarted.
  6. Birdie Stitches - some unfinished, some unstarted. I'm going to a retreat in June, and I plan to take these along to work on there. I'll have lots of handwork time on my hands. :)
  7. Bottled Rainbows Quilt-along - unstarted.

New this week (or more like "remembered" this week!)
  1. Secretive Get Better quilt - unstarted, but I'll put everything aside when the time comes to make this.
  2. Secretive P-n-P quilt - unstarted, must buy the fabric and then figure out a pattern.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

{WiP} Wednesday

I wonder if I'll ever post on days other than Wednesday again? :o)

WIP Wednesday at Fresly Pieced

  1. do. Good Stitches Rainbow pouch. It was my first zippered pouch, and there were some technical difficulties, but I think it looks fine. I know I'll be making more, but I won't be making piles and piles of these this weekend! :) Faith Circle, Rainbow Quilt Pouch
  2. Email Bee Happy Bees. It's not really a craft to-do, but it is related to crafting! And it was something I had been needing to do for a while. :) So I'm gonna count it as a victory. :o)
In Progress

  1. Kelly's Bee Happy Blocks. I have (mostly) finished one block. She asked for one door and one window block. I just have to finish the trim on the door, then I can start on the window. (I'll share pictures when I'm done with both.)
  2. Alabama Quilt. I bought the fabric and have cut all the colored strips, and am about 1/90th of the way done with the Snow strips. I'm really really excited about it, though! I love the fabrics that I never would have chosen otherwise. :) I need to get the lead out, though, and get this one done. The bottom fabric, the stripes on the left, there?  That was the inspiration for the rest of the fabrics. Again, not my normal color scheme, but I really like it. Since I have no idea who I'm donating to, I wanted it to be gender neutral.
Not Yet Started
  1. do.Good Stitches {Faith Circle} Blocks. I'll start them Thursday night or Friday. I hope. I've got my textured fabric (she asked for string blocks with some texture), and just need to get started.
  2. March/April/May Birdie Stitches Blocks. Yup. No progress. I've still got to embroider March's and then make (and embroider) the April and May blocks. Heck, I might as well just add June to this list since it'll be June before I really get to it! :)
  3. Camera Strap. Sorry, Jamie! I hope to get it done, though, by mid-June since Dave will be seeing his family then and can hand deliver it.
  4. Jen's purse. Again with the "no progress". I want to work on it, but it'll just have to wait till I get struck with inspiration. Jen would appreciate me waiting till the fabric "speaks" to me. She gets it. :o)
  5. Bottled Rainbows Quilt-along. I've made more scraps...does that count?
  1. Decorate the Living Room. I've been waiting to do this, and now I'm doing it! I've (obviously) got to hang the pictures, and get plants and lamps in here, but I like it a lot more than I thought I would. :o) I have, unfortunately, spent a lot of good crafting time shopping! (Yes, I do offer my baby her snack in a cake pan. It's less likely to end up inside my vacuum that way.)
  2. Celebrate First and Third Birthdays!. My girls both have birthdays this month, so we've been celebrating with cupcakes and brownies and chocolate chip pancakes. We've been planning a (Dora) birthday party and cleaning (or not) in preparation for said Dora party. Birthdays take a lot of time away from crafting! :o)
  1. Mug Rugs for Japan. I couldn't make any of these. My guild was asked to make mug rugs to sell at an art event and donate the money to Japanese Red Cross. I don't know how many others made mug rugs, but I didn't get it done. I've got loads of good excuses, but the truth is, I didn't get any made.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

{WiP} Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Fresly Pieced

That's my to-sew list. That I can remember, at least!

Let's review:
  1.  RK Kona Solids Challenge - I decided to buy green background. I can't remember what it is, but I didn't want to use white, and I wanted it to be bright and happy, so I went with green. I think it's Kona Celery. (It's not on that list, but it totally should be!)
  2. Mug Rugs for Japan - the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild has decided to try to sell mug rugs at the Monument Art Hop (Monument is a small town here, and the Art Hop is a summer series, and different shops host local artists). We are going to donate any money to the Japanese Red Cross. The Art Hop is May 19th, so I need to get busy!
  3. Kelly's Bee Happy blocks - Kelly took on the first month in Round 2 of the Bee Happy virtual quilting bee. She gave us solids and some of Dena Designs fabrics and asked us to make one window block and one door block. I don't know what I'm going to do, quite yet, but I need to start drafting my ideas. I'm administrating this round, and it's not cool for the administrator to be late! Especially the first month! Hah!
  4. May "Faith" do.Good Stitches blocks - For May, Kelsey asked us to make string blocks for two quilts she is making for a couple of boys in her church. 
  5. Sew the April and May Birdie Stitches blocks, and then, of course, embroider them! I'm falling further and further behind!
  6. Alabama Quilt - Craft Hope has designated Project 13 to be security blankets for tornado survivors (of Alabaman). Since I spent some of the best years of my 20s in that lovely state, I can't very well make a quilt for Japan, and NOT make one for Alabama! I think I've got a line on some 108" wide fabric (not muslin, I'm going to see how the two are different), and I am either going to do something similar to my Japan design (with the hexies appliqued to the top), or I'm going to do something SIMPLE, but different. I think the deadline is June 15th, so I gotta get my boottackal region in gear! They are accepting ALL blankets, though, so if you know how to make a blanket (of any kind), head on over there and sign yourself up. Fleece, flannel, crocheted, knit, quilted, whatever. Blankets. To people whose entirely livelihood has literally been wiped off the map.
  7. Pouch for April do.Good.Stitches recipient. I asked Rachel if I could send anything extra with the quilt for the lady who we made the rainbow blocks for, and she said sure! So I'm going to jump on the pouch bandwagon and make her a rainbow pouch. And include a little something inside, too. :o)
  8. Camera Strap for a friend - oh my goodness. At Christmas, a friend made a comment on my camera strap, and I told her I'd make her one. It's now May. I suck.
  9. Quilted bag for my step-mom - Jen said she wanted to have something that I made, and she loves purses, so I'm going to make her a purse. After I make Jamie's camera strap. 
  10. Embroider March's Birdie Stitches block - sigh.
  11. Bottled Rainbows quilt - holy cow. I love the Bottle Rainbows quilts that everyone seems to be finishing, and I haven't even started, but this is at the bottom of my list for a's NOT a priority!
And here are my finishes go from the last week or two:
  1. I finished Audrey's mug rug (and didn't take any pictures, but I'll add them if I can!).  She and I both went to Auburn University (in Alabama) (War Eagle!), so I made her a mug rug with the AU logo on it. Audrey is also kinda notorious for loving scraps, so made the AU and the stripe down the side out of scraps. I've never used a satin stitch for applique, and I wasn't really pleased with how it shifted on the fabric, but I had a few near-catastrophic mug rug events the day I was finishing it, and I just couldn't bring myself to cut out the AU and piece it in. I was lucky to get out the door with my inside clothes on the inside that day!
  2. I finished Janice's Wonky Log Cabin house blocks for Round 1 of the Bee Happy VQG. She sent all the fabric we needed, but designated some special fabric she really wanted us to use. She said she wanted them super-scrappy (which is super-hard for me!), and that was pretty much it! Here are my two blocks together, and you can just click on the picture and go to my photostream to see them individually.

Janice's Bee Happy blocks ~ Wonky Houses

I believe that is all I've got to share? There's a whole heckuva lot more on the to-sew list than on the done-sewed list. But maybe that will change this week.

I hope you all are having a great, and crafty, week!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tell Her What She's Won!!

First, I want to apologize to Aunt Spicy for taking so long to post this. I'm really awful about acknowledging kindness. It's not that I didn't appreciate it when it came, it's that I...well, I just suck.

So, anyway, back in, what, February? I won a Kona Color Card in the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway. When I was notified that I won, I started to laugh. And I laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Oh, how I wanted the Kona solids charm pack set. I have a really cool quilt design that will require all the charm squares, and I was eager to win it. Instead, I won a Kona Color Card. To add to my collection. At the time, I already had 2, and now I was going to get a 3rd? Ha. Haha. Haha. Sigh.


I emailed Kelly and Aunt Spicy and Erica and made some joke about now having a 3rd color card. Aunt Spicy replied that she would gladly trade me some fabric for my color card. I was pretty stoked! She has great taste in fabric, and I know the color cards can be hard to find, so it was a win-win proposition! (note: I knew full well that I was getting the better end of the deal!)  :o)

(a color card for that JACKPOT pile of fabric? I totally scored.)

I contacted Robert Kaufman and asked them to send the color card to her, and she went through her stash and sent me some of her coveted Jennifer Paganelli fabrics.

I consider using them for every project I've done since I got them, but nothing seems quite right. I want it to be meaningful, something that will always reflect my sweet friend, Aunt Spicy.

One day I will use it to make something wonderful!


Monday, May 2, 2011

A Week of Rainbows

Oh, if only I was talking about the weather. It's still very wintery here in Colorado. I'm not really complaining...we all know the weather has been MUCH much worse elsewhere. I'm just tired of being cold. :o)

The rainbows this week came at the end of needles and thread.

I finished the quilt I made to send to Japan. I call it my TNT Quilt because I tried new things for this quilt. (Also because there were many times I thought the best thing that could happen to the quilt would be for it to get too close to a stick of dynamite! But my old saying is true, most of the errors disappear in the quilting, thank God!)

TNT Quilt ~ From Colorado to Japan

TNT Quilt ~ Sprout Playing
(I had to show my little rainbow baby!)

TNT Quilt ~ On the stairs

And once I'd finished that up, I was able to start working on some bee blocks I wanted to make. This is my first month as a stitcher on the Faith circle of the do.Good.Stitches bee.  Rachel of Stitched in Color has a total of 8 circles going now, and each month the members make blocks from their own stash following the guidelines from that month's quilter. The quilter decides where to send that quilt and does all the hard work. I LOVE that I still get to make quilts, but that these quilts are going to people in need, and not just a pile to the left of my couch.

For April, Rachel asked us to make rainbow blocks for a single mom in her church that has 6 kids. Yes, single mom. 6 kids. She surely deserves a nice warm, snuggly, bright quilt, doncha think? I put these 3 blocks in the mail this morning.

Faith in April ~ do.Good.Stitches Bee Block #1

I used Lady Harvatine's fabulous machine-pieced hexagon tutorial. If you like hexies, this is life changing. And the hexies are all from the Hexagon Swap group on Flickr. We're just finishing up Round #5, so if you want to swap hexies with us, go over there and join!

Faith in April ~ do.Good.Stitches Bee Block #2

I used the fabulous tutorial from Jacquie/Tallgrass Prairie Studio to make this wonky log cabin. I also used scraps that I've been given by others. The only fabric that was mine is the pink on the outside. I love that this was a collaborative block. :o)

Faith in April ~ do.Good.Stitches Bee block #3

And I just wanted to get this one done so I could send her the blocks. I know she's keen to get started!

I can't wait to see the finished quilt!

I'm linking up with Megan's {Sew} Modern Monday. Go there and see what else got made modern this week! There's some GORGEOUS stuff over there. :o)
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations